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Former prosecutor Ronnie Goldy makes first court appearance on federal charges

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Posted at 5:09 PM, Aug 21, 2023

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Impeached commonwealth’s attorney Ronnie Goldy made his first appearance in federal court in Lexington Monday afternoon after a 14-count indictment was filed against him last week.

At the arraignment, Goldy’s court-appointed attorney entered not guilty pleas to all counts.

Prosecutors did not ask that Goldy be held in jail while awaiting trial, but they did ask that he be prohibited from practicing law before trial as a condition of his release.

Goldy is facing multiple charges related to bribery and fraud after allegations surfaced last year that he’d done court favors for a criminal defendant in exchange for nude photos and videos of her. The situation came to light after hundreds of alleged Facebook messages between Goldy and the defendant were released by another attorney last summer.

Goldy served as the commonwealth’s attorney for Bath, Rowan, Menifee, and Montgomery counties.

LEX 18 first reported that Goldy was under federal investigation in January.

Goldy’s indictment did not name the woman on the other end of the messages, but Misty Helton came forward last year saying she was the one who’d gotten the legal favors. LEX 18’s Leigh Searcy interviewed her last fall.

“He got my warrants withdrew, he done a lot of favors for me,” Helton told LEX 18. “But in hindsight, it was just something to keep me in debt to him.”

Helton told LEX 18 that the two often talked over Facebook and had a sexual relationship for several years.

“There's so many messages about him asking for a video … to asking me to come meet him,” Helton said. “I was trying to back out of it, but at the same time, the only thing he could keep over my head was court favors.”

Last fall, the Kentucky Supreme Court suspended Goldy’s law license. The court has since dissolved the suspension.

Goldy resigned as commonwealth’s attorney and was eventually convicted on impeachment by Kentucky lawmakers.

On Friday, he was arrested by the FBI at his home in Morehead.

Goldy will be back in court for a pretrial hearing on Oct. 13, and a jury trial date was set Monday for Oct. 24.